yoga

Lululemon Brand Ambassadors – part two

I posted not long back on a shoot for Lululemon’s Middle East brand ambassadors. This time, we shot Yogi Omar and Crossfitter Karina, doing what they love and sharing what they love. Both were awesome to work with.

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We shot at two amazing studios… Urban Yoga and Rig Crossfit. The fit-out and format of both fits perfectly with what they do, which made for a series of super authentic visuals. RAW and action-impact imagery… just what I love. At the end of the day, images needs to move people, to touch them and to create some sense of curiosity.

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It’s really worth checking out the Lululemon brand, discover what they stand for and how they stand out from their competitors. I love their personality and voice. Just read this clipping from their brand paper…

“To the sweaty philosophers, the bonfire starters and the daredevil entrepreneurs with gratitude. Your spark elevates our entire collective.”

The below manifesto sums it all up…

About-us_manifesto

Since the shoot, I’ve attended both Omar and Karina’s classes.  I confess that both broke me. I may be able to run but yoga and crossfire bring a whole new set of challenges.  I remain sore but have signed up for more and would definitely encourage others to give them a try. They even hold taster classes at Lululemon’s Mall of Emirates store so you can dip your toes in the water before diving straight in.

Wk

Adventure HQ Photoshoot

That million-dollar question… how long will it take to shoot? Rock climbing, mountain biking, skate boarding, road cycling, kayaking, surf skiing, camping, trail running, yoga, fat biking, diving, fishing, BBQ… and the shoot list didn’t end there. I looked at the client and replied with “10 days”. They looked back, grinned and responded with “how about three days?” I laughed… and then we settled on five.

Five days… and I still don’t know how we fitted it all in. Days were jam-packed with crew call times at 3 or 4am making for 16hrs day. Pre-production was key, with extensive location scouting and setting up the shots at the best outdoor locations in both the UAE and Musandam in Oman. We pretty much crafted a minute by minute production schedule, making the best of the sweet early morning and afternoon light. I can’t remember how many brands were represented with hundreds of items and dozens of athletes / talent. But most importantly we all an amazing time in the great outdoors.

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Why do I love shooting adventure sports? Because we’re all in it for memories, all keen to create stories. And stories are so powerful. It’s a great opportunity to work with amazing athletes and adventurers. And its a grand excuse to head out into the mountains, live it to the max and enjoy the great outdoors. For me, it’s pretty much second nature but for some of the crew it meant first-time camping or getting high up in the mountains. Seeing their enormous grins during those long days was super rewarding.

I created a mood board with images I’ve shot in the past or collected from adventure brands for years, just as a reference to dig into when stuck on site or to explain individual concepts to the team. In an ideal world, you’d shoot a real and raw adventure over a ten day expedition where gear, people and clothing naturally gets worn in and roughened up. Instead, in this shoot we sped up time by rolling in the sand and using other dirty tricks. At the end of the day, the images had to look genuine, unstaged, real and inspiring. I know that’s what we delivered.

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Have a look at my main site where you’ll find the full image gallery and seriously check out the behind the scenes video on the top of this post, which besides the production side of things also shows the adventures YOU can have in our region. We do live in an amazing playground with unlimited access.

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A big shout out to the crew at Absolute Adventure for keeping us out of trouble and being our partner in ground support. Anyone who gets inspired and is keen to venture off should contact these guys. They’ll take you outdoors, look after you and give you an amazing adventure experience.

I’ve got a few amazing brands that support me with the work I do. Many thanks to Goal Zero for keeping us powered up, fstop gear for their fab pack to haul our gear around the mountains, Aquatec for keeping my camera bombproof dry in the ocean, SanDisk for their fast and uber reliable CF cards and Western Digital for safely storing 100’s of GB’s of data on their HD’s. These are amazing brands to rely on when digging it deep in far away places.

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Finally, thanks to everyone for bringing their energy and making it all happen! When tempted to buy some new outdoor toys and gadgets. Check out the Adventure HQ stores around the UAE… and when you’re there, pick up the new catalogue. I heard it looks really nice…

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Behind the scene image by Kish

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Behind the scene image by Kish

Till the next adventure….

Wk.

Lululemon Brand Ambassadors – part one

My first gig following my summer exodus saw me get straight back into the creative work I so love to do.

Lululemon is a brand I’ve fallen in love with. Originally a yoga fashion brand from Canada, it’s now expanded into an athletic apparel company. With their first store soon to open in the Middle East, there was a need for regional stories and images so Lululemon’s brand team connected with like minded people in the local community and created a Middle East team of ambassadors.

Over five sessions, I got to photograph these awesome individuals. Each one was genuinely a pleasure to work with and at the pinnacle of their sport. I always love working with professional athletes. They understand their sport better than anyone else and they always look amazing. A strong collaboration with the photographer always translates into strong visuals. Lululemon has pretty clear (photography) brand guidelines which, as luck would have it, works perfectly with how I like to shoot as well; un-staged, naturally lit, authentic impactful imagery.

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In this post you’ll find Yogi Melissa, Spinning Nour and Barre Karlee. All the images were shot either on the beach or at the studio they teach in. We mostly shot with the light available but with Nour I had to bring in a little flash, just to have a bit more control in the dark spinning studio.My understanding of the term ‘elasticity’ was redefined during these shoots.

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It was fascinating to see how Melissa and Karlee would literally fold themselves in two and have perfect poise in all manner of poses. It must be like playing hide and seek yourself, as your head pops out from all different parts of the body.

True masters at work, the entire team!

Wk.